China Releases New Geographical Names for Disputed Arunachal Pradesh Region

Northeast Desk, 1st April: Over the weekend, China released another list of geographical names for Zangnan, a region it recognizes but is known as Arunachal Pradesh in India. This action comes amidst an ongoing dispute between China and India over the latter’s frontier state.

The Chinese state mouthpiece reported that the Ministry of Civil Affairs has released the fourth list of standardized geographical names for the region, adding thirty new publicly used names. The Chinese government had previously standardized 11 names in the region using Chinese characters, Tibetan, and pinyin in April 2023, which was the third list. The first list was released in 2017, and the second in 2021.

These implementation measures will take effect from May 1, 2024, and the government has stated that foreign language place names that could potentially harm China’s territorial claims and sovereignty rights must not be quoted or translated without authorization.

Earlier this month, China reiterated its claim over Arunachal Pradesh, referring to it as an ‘inherent part of China’s territory’. It has expressed its firm opposition to the ‘so-called Arunachal Pradesh illegally established by India’. It had also protested against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh for the inauguration of the Sela Tunnel. However, India has consistently rejected China’s claims and maintained that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of the country.

MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal recently stated that despite China’s repeated baseless claims, India’s position on Arunachal Pradesh remains unchanged.

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